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CIPD: How productive are you?

Posted on by from CIPD

Chief economist, Mark Beatson, asks: what type of productivity is your business?

Too many organisations are in ‘survival’ mode, according to the CIPD report, Investing in Productivity: unlocking ambition, which found a link between an organisation’s mindset and its relative productivity.


If you have been in survival mode for a long time and are unable to invest in major improvements to the business, your firm is one of the 21% that are ‘survivors’. This type has cut investment and often has shrinking sales and output. Survivors are also least optimistic about the future: half think a lack of finance or the right skills mean they will continue to under-perform. Fundamental changes to ways of working are probably needed. A first step is to find out what successful companies in the market are doing in order to learn from them.


If you took cost out in the recession and improved workers’ productivity, your business is one of the 19% that are ‘cost-cutters’. There’s nothing wrong in focusing on costs but companies in this category will probably need to shift gear at some point and increase investment.

People-focused investor

If your firm has continued to invest in its people, but needs to invest more in equipment and technology to see productivity improvements, your firm is one of the 16% that are ‘people-focused investors’. These seek to make up lost ground by upgrading their technology to get more from people.

Capital-focused investor

On the other hand, if your organisation has continued to invest in equipment and technology, but hasn’t invested enough in staff to maximise the value of this investment, your company is one of the 13% that are ‘capital-focused investors’. With less surplus labour around, investment in the workforce is more important than ever.

Mark Beatson

By Mark Beatson


Mark leads the CIPD’s labour market analysis, while reinforcing its ability to lead thinking.



The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is Europe's largest HR and development professional body. As an internationally recognised brand with over 135,000 members across 120 countries, we pride ourselves on supporting and developing those responsible for the management and development of people within organisations.

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